Microgravity is a fascinating environment with many and varied applications over the realms of engineering and science. Unfortunately it is not easy to create microgravity on the surface of a planet like Earth. All attempts nowadays are expensive and time consuming. This project tries to show that low gravity can be reached at much lower costs than current approaches (such as parabolic flights or drop towers). However, this project is a feasibility study of the technique that can be used to create a low gravity environment. If this project can demonstrate that the selected approach is working, it can easily be up scaled for larger payloads or longer periods of low gravity.

The approach used in this project is to drop a payload off a high altitude balloon. During the drop the payload is still connected to the balloon’s gondola through a tether which is unreeled from an ordinary fishing spinning reel. The drop is decelerated using the internal brake of the fishing reel. As soon as the payload comes to a halt, it is reeled back up to the gondola and is ready for the next drop.

The project’s name is reel.SMRT ("real smart"). It is being realized within the BEXUS (Balloon Experiment for University Students) campaign organised and sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR). The student group designing and building this experiment consists of nine students originating from eight different countries. All of them are currently enrolled in the Erasmus Mundus sponsored SpaceMaster programme.

Latest Project: SMRT @SMURFS

Space Master Robotics Team @BEXUS
Milestone The final SED (student experiment documentation) report was sent to ESA and is also available here. The final presentation in Kiruna was also held this week, the presentation will be put online when available.
Posted by SMRT Jan 16
Video Here is a short video of the BEXUS flight highlights!
Posted by SMRT Nov 6
Launch Today was the launch of the BEXUS9 balloon from Esrange site in Kiruna, Sweden!
Posted by SMRT Oct 7
Comp The team is proud to announce the winners of the FISHy Design Competition: Sofia Prentice (6, AUS), Kai Spriggs (8, AUS) and Marcus Green (UK)!
Posted by SMRT Sept 30
Milestone The MTR (Mid Term Report) was mailed today!
Posted by SMRT Aug 17
Milestone The CDR (Critical Design Review) presentations at ESTEC and at LTU were done and everything seems to be okay!
Posted by SMRT Jun 9
News The team published its first press release today! The release is available here, or as PDF here download.
Posted by SMRT May 9
Milestone The PDR (Preliminary Design Report) was sent to the organizers today. It is also available here (2.8MB PDF) for download.
Posted by SMRT Mar 15
Milestone reel.SMRT (the official project name) got accepted to fly on the BEXUS campaign this September. We are also invited to participate in the workshop at the end of March in Germany where we are also meant to present our PDR.
Posted by SMRT Feb 10
News SMRT presented (PDF, 6mb) today at ESTEC our proposal for the reel.SMRT project. A quite nice experience and workshop.
Posted by SMRT Feb 7
News SMRT got invited to present the project reel.SMRT at the ESA Rexus/Bexus Selection Workshop in February.
Posted by SMRT Dec 20, 2008
Milestone Project Application sent to ESA for the REXUS/BEXUS launch campaign 2009/2010
Posted by SMRT Nov 18, 2008
Wanted Sponsors are wanted for our BEXUS project! If you are interested contact us!
Posted by SMRT Nov 10, 2008
News We are busy working to finish the report and application for the BEXUS balloon launch. Application deadline is November 17. We want to fly a similar (extended) xgravler project.
Posted by SMRT Nov 8, 2008
SpaceMaster Robotics Team

We want to specially thank our sponsors
for their financial support!

SpaceMaster Robotics Team Members

SpaceMaster Robotics Team

A student team consisting of members formerly studying in the Joint European Master in Space Science & Technology (SpaceMaster) programme. It is currently spread all over Europe.

The team consists for this project of the following 9 team members: Katherine Bennell, Mark 'Fitts' Fittock, Mikulas Jandak, Juxi Leitner, David Leal Martínez, Waen Nawarat, Campbell Pegg, Mikael Persson, and Jan Speidel


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